iPhone maker Wistron agrees to lapses in payment of wages, sacks India VP

While assuring that all employees will be fully compensated immediately the company has established an employee assistance program for workers at the facility.
Taiwanese conglomerate Wistron has sacked its vice president Vincent Lee who oversaw the business in India as it agreed to lapses in payment to workers at the Narasapura facility near Bengaluru, which was vandalised last Saturday.

“Since the unfortunate events at our Narasapura facility we have been investigating and have found that some workers were not paid correctly, or on time. We deeply regret this and apologize to all of our workers,” said the company in a statement. 

“Some of the processes we put in place to manage labour agencies and payments need to be strengthened and upgraded. We are removing the Vice President who oversees our business in India,” it added. 

The company which manufactures Apple iPhones apart from Lenovo and Microsoft products at the 44-acre plant said that it is enhancing its processes and restructuring the teams to ensure these issues do not happen again. The company has around 1,000 people in various managerial roles in the country.

While assuring that all employees will be fully compensated immediately the company has established an employee assistance program for workers at the facility. “We also set up a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English to ensure all workers can voice any concerns they may have anonymously,” according to the company. It reiterated that it is committed to business and employees in India.
Last Saturday, thousands of people, including employees, had vandalised the campus while breaking window panes, ATM machines, CCTV cameras, vehicles and other equipment at the Wistron campus located near Bengaluru on the issue of salary deductions and untimely payments of wages. There were allegations of looting of several thousand iPhones, laptops and television sets from the premises. In total, the arson and violence had cost around Rs 50 crore to the company. Around 160 people were arrested after the incident with several detained for questioning.

The company had ramped up the employee base from around 2,000 in June to 12,000 in October. An initial labour department report pointed to violations in labour laws at the company. The report stated that Wistron did not keep up salary and attendance records as required by law, and contract staff were unhappy about non-payment of wages for extra work hours, according to Reuters.

In other findings by the department of factories, boilers, industrial safety & health, the HR department was not adequately set up with personnel of sound knowledge of labour laws. It also said the fault in the attendance system to correctly capture the attendance of the workers was not addressed though it has continued for the past two months.

The state government has earlier said that it is working closely with the company management to ensure that the plant is restarted at the earliest and genuine grievances of the workers are addressed. ”Wistron is a very important project and a flag bearer of India’s ambitions to become a global hub for electronics manufacturing. The state government is committed to its success and business continuity,” said a government statement.

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